The average minimum-wage earner in the 8-state Rocky Mountain Region needs to work no less than two full-time jobs in order to pay rent on a two-bedroom apartment.
In Nevada and Colorado, the two Rocky Mountain states with the most expensive housing, the minimum-wage earner needs to work a minimum of three full-time jobs. Montana and Wyoming have the most affordable housing. Future population growth will continue decreasing affordability, impacting not only minimum-wage earners, but also the higher paid workers, like policeman, teachers, health-care workers, fireman, office workers, etc.
Home ownership is intrinsic to ensuring stable communities by creating an enduring workforce and deepening neighborhood involvement. Affordable first homes, ideally with low, fixed-rate, affordable mortgages, provide both families and the communities in which they live stability and a deeper sense of permanence.
Good wages that maximize the potential for home ownership, a vibrant local economy with stable growth, and planning that minimizies sprawl and transportation costs, will encourage workers to settle down and become permanent, involved residents of the Rockies.
Thanks to Colorado College for the State of the Rockies Report Card map.
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